Indiana Supreme Court amends class action rule for disbursement of residual funds

The Indiana Supreme Court has announced an amendment to a rule of trial procedure concerning the disposition of residual funds in class action lawsuits.

In a July 29 order, the high court amended Rule 23 of the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure.

“Any order entering a judgment or approving a proposed compromise of a class action certified under this rule that establishes a process for identifying and compensating members of the class shall provide for the disbursement of residual funds, unless otherwise agreed,” the rule states.

In matters where the claims process has been exhausted and residual funds remain for the members of a certified class action, the amended rules state at least 50% of those residual funds must be dispersed to the Indiana Bar Foundation, an increase from the previous 25%.

Additionally, the dispersed funds would be intended to support the activities and programs of the Coalition for Court Access, removing previous requirement for their distribution to the foundation’s pro bono districts.

“The court may disburse the balance of any residual funds beyond the minimum percentage to the Indiana Bar Foundation or to any other entity for purposes that have a direct or indirect relationship to the objectives of the underlying litigation or otherwise promote the substantive or procedural interests of members of the certified class,” according to an unchanged portion of the rule.

The amendment will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

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